Nungki

A painting by artist Darcie Bernhardt, it is based off memories of Bernhardt’s home in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Nungki displays new concepts in portraiture in its depiction of their uncle in the process of creating a pair of slippers. The painting shows an Inuk man in jeans and a button-down shirt, working on the floor, surrounded by leather pieces and floral beadwork, a partial view of a dining table and chair, a house plane, radio, and tapestry populating the image. This work uses storytelling as a conduit of a paradigm shift – replacing oppressive societal narratives of the Northwest Territories with rich familial memory and cultural documentation.

Nungki is a very impressive and beautiful painting. This piece is intelligent and strategically tells a story through specific details of the painting. Bernhardt’s voice is clearly heard through Nungki, and her unique perspective is seen through this piece. Nungki does an excellent job of impacting across cultural divides. 

From the 2022 Masterworks jury:

“This work is so sophisticated, deep, passionate and inspirational. Such an amazing accomplishment for such a young artist.”